A Hamilton-based freight train driver with a keen eye for incredible pics has been crowned this year's Scottish Landscape Photographer of the Year.
Amateur photographer Dylan wowed the judges with his portfolio of a trio of stunning images shot on the Isle of Arran and in his local area of South Lanarkshire.
The first, ‘Arran Light’, shows off the dynamics of a typical Scottish day on the beautiful west coast Island with the changeable weather readily apparent in the contrasting sky above a lonely tree.
His other images included ‘Submerged’, a dramatic image of winter light peppering the landscape near Leadhills, the second highest village in Scotland, and ‘Vice Versa’, an intimate Autumnal shot of vibrant fallen foliage on cold blue rocks of the banks of Avon Water in Chatelherault Country Park.
Speaking about his delight at winning the prestigious title, Dylan stated that he was absolutely thrilled to have been chosen, he said: "It's a competition I admire in its process of judging of not just one image but a portfolio of work from each photographer. Knowing that the judges have seen something pleasing in my work is so flattering and has given me a huge boost in what has been a very tough year for so many.
"I’d like to thank my wife Louise, kids Gypsy and Martha for putting up with me going on about light everywhere we go and disappearing early on so many mornings, to hunt those little magical moments that highlight our beautiful country.”
Dylan, 47, believes he developed his passion for the landscape while driving freight trains around the country at every hour of the day, while working with DB Cargo for the last 28 years.
A keen photographer in his spare time, he has practiced taking images since High School but has only been focused on Outdoor Photography since 2014 where his development has gained him recognition through magazine articles, cover images as well as a small published book of his work.
In addition to the overall title, The competition also features other categories including awards for the best single landscape, seascape urban and weather images, and despite the pandemic, it attracted over 3000 entries from across the globe.
Founder Stuart Low said: "It’s humbling to receive so many entries, considering how difficult things have been for everyone. It’s also the been quite emotional for everyone involved in the judging.
"Whilst we relaxed things to allow photographers to enter classic images from their archives, others adapted to the challenges of the restrictions and captured beauty on their doorsteps, and I’m sure that will touch many people’s hearts.”
Stuart revealed that the popular Competition, now in its seventh year, was almost at the point of closing down when the pandemic took hold, he said: “With travel restrictions mounting up, then eventually a full lockdown, I knew it was impossible for photographers to travel around to capture images so I feared no one would enter.
He admitted that it was through the prompting of the community of photographers that they have built up through the years that he kept it going.
He added: "I was about to wind things up but so many photographers urged me to keep going, and told me without the competition there was little for them to look forward to.
"I knew I couldn’t let them down so I went ahead, albeit with a fair amount of trepidation.”
Thankfully, the competition had continued support from incumbent sponsors The John Muir Trust and Permajet, as well as the additional boost of a major new sponsorship from Bonnie & Wild in a 3-year deal that will see the winning images displayed at a permanent exhibition in the heart of Edinburgh’s new, soon to open St James Quarter.
Stuart added: “I am absolutely delighted to have continued sponsorship and genuinely over the moon by this new partnership with Bonnie & Wild.
"It means a permanent rolling exhibition in an amazing new venue that is sure to attract more visitors than we could have imagined.”
The winning images will be showcased in a limited edition book and exhibited at the new St James Quarter and some smaller galleries in the Scottish Highlands when restrictions permit.
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